Background: We surveyed Canadian General Surgeons to examine decision-making in early stage breast cancer. Methods: A modified Dillman Method was used for this mail survey of 1443 surgeons. Practice patterns and factors that influence management choices for: preoperative assessment, definition of margin status, surgical techniques and recommendations for re-excision were assessed. Results: The response rate was 51% with 41% treating breast cancer. Most (80%) were community surgeons, with equal distribution of low/medium/high volume and years of practice categories. Approximately 25% of surgeons "sometimes or frequently" performed diagnostic excisional biopsies while 90% report "frequently" or "always" performing preoperative core biopsies. There was marked variation in defining negative and close margins, in the use of intra-operative margin assessment techniques and recommendations for re-excision. Conclusions: Responses revealed significant variation in attitudes and practices. These findings likely reflect an absence of consensus in the literature and potential gaps between best evidence and practice. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Lovrics, P. J., Gordon, M., Cornacchi, S. D., Farrokhyar, F., Ramsaroop, A., Hodgson, N., … Porter, G. (2012). Practice patterns and perceptions of margin status for breast conserving surgery for breast carcinoma: National Survey of Canadian General Surgeons. Breast, 21(6), 730–734. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2012.07.017